|Teenager sentenced - John Molyneux murder
Robert Seddon - Guilty.
A teenager who battered a pensioner to death on wasteground in Wigan has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being trapped by DNA.
Robert Liam Seddon, born 14/11/88, of Arnside Avenue, Lower Ince, pleaded guilty to the murder of John Molyneux and was today sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve at least 13 years in prison before he will be considered for parole.
John Henry Molyneux (born 16/02/41) of Kendal Road in Higher Ince, was found on wasteground just off Laburnum Avenue on Monday 30th April 2007 by a man making his way to work
John, who was known locally as 'Mexican Joe', had last been seen at 9pm the previous evening by his partner. He told her that he was going fishing and left his home with a wheelbarrow filled with his fishing rod and a spade, which he used to dig up worms as bait. John was regularly seen wandering around the streets of Higher Ince collecting junk and scrap metal in his wheelbarrow.
He was found just after 6.30am the following day, lying face up, beside his wheelbarrow. He had very severe head and facial injuries consistent with a sustained and frenzied attack. His fishing rod had been snapped and was impaled in the ground. He was taken to Wigan Royal Infirmary where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
A trail of blood was found at the scene of the attack. When loaded onto the DNA database it provided a full match to Robert Seddon. Seddon was arrested on 4th May 2007. On arrest he was found to have healing cuts to the knuckles of his right hand, which was also swollen.
On interview, Seddon denied ever being at the scene of the attack and said that he had been involved in a fight close to Wigan College that day, accounting for the injuries to his hand.
Further inquiries revealed that Seddon had been drinking with his uncle in Lower Ince Labour Club on Sunday 29 April 2007 and had continued drinking with him at the White Swan Pub until midnight. Seddon then went back to his uncle's house where they continued drinking until 1.30am on the day of the murder.
Seddon's route home from his uncle's house would have taken him through the scene of the attack and, at around 1.30am, a resident heard raised voices close to the scene.
A pathologist's report established that Mr Molyneux had 'complete shattering of the mid face' bones. She concluded that the injuries were inflicted by a weapon. Police believe that Seddon may have used John's spade to kill him, but the spade that he left home with the evening before his murder has never been found.
When confronted with the overwhelming evidence that he had been at the scene and had inflicted the injuries that caused Mr Molyneux's death, which went far beyond what would have been necessary to defend himself, Seddon pleaded guilty to murder.
John's partner said:
"John was an important and significant part of my life for about 40-years. Our friendship turned into a relationship, which led to us sharing our lives together. His death has changed that now. The thought of what happened to John has had a devastating affect on me.
"I often get upset, cry and breakdown at the thought of what happened to John. What keeps me going are my recollections and memories of the happy times we spent together and shared as a family.
"John was not only my partner, he was my best friend. We confided in each other and supported each other. His death has left my daughter without her dad. It has also left my grandchildren without a granddad. My life will never be the same again."
John's daughter said:
"Dad's death has turned my life upside down. The last six months have been a very chaotic and painful period of time.
"I find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that I will never know exactly what his final movements were and that I will never be able to see him again. The nature of his injuries meant that I have not even been able to say a "final goodbye" to him. I find that very hard to accept.
"There will be times ahead which will be difficult for us; Christmas and other family celebrations, like Dad's birthday. These will never be the same but our happy memories and recollections of Dad make them a little easier to cope with. There will be times ahead, as there are now, when I am unable to put in to words what I am feeling and what I am going through.
"I don't think I will ever get over what happened. I cannot forget my dad or the gravity of what happened to him. His life ended before it was due. He will be forever loved and never forgotten."
Detective Superintendent John Kelly, who led the investigation, said:
"This was an incredibly vicious, frenzied attack on a pensioner who was a vulnerable member of the community in Higher Ince.
"Seddon has gradually admitted involvement, incrementally, as he was presented with more and more evidence which contradicted what he was telling us.
"The trail of his blood found close to John provided us with strong evidence that Seddon was at the scene and that he took part in the attack.
"He initially claimed self-defence, but it was clear to us that he was trying to provide a justification for what was simply unjustifiable. The injuries John sustained were horrendous and clearly went far beyond what would have been necessary for someone to defend themselves.
"It is difficult to understand what could have provoked Seddon to attack John with such ferocity. He is clearly a very dangerous individual and I am confident that the streets are a safer place now that he is behind bars."